Mr R Dhinakaran: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether the Vietnamese authorities are extending their protection for Singaporean companies in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks after the recent violent protests.
1 The Singapore Government takes a very serious view on the unrest that broke out at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) I and II in Binh Duong province on 13 and 14 May 2014. The VSIPs have long been a symbol of the strong economic cooperation between Singapore and Vietnam and are projects endorsed by both governments. To this end, we have made representations at various levels to the Vietnamese government to emphasise our strong concerns, the need for the Vietnamese government to provide security, and that the violence, indiscriminate looting, and the burning of the Singapore flag at the VSIPs were unacceptable.
2 The Vietnamese government has expressed its sincere regret over the unrest, and has assured us that it would take concrete measures to ensure that such incidents would not occur again. During Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam’s meeting with PM on the sidelines of the Nikkei conference on 22 May 2014, DPM Dam conveyed Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s deep regret over the unrest at the two VSIPs, and gave full assurance that such incidents would not happen again. The Vietnamese government also pledged to conduct a full investigation and take necessary action against the perpetrators. The same message was conveyed to Minister Shanmugam by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh.
3 We note that most of the affected companies in the two VSIPs have restarted their operations and the Vietnamese government has taken measures to normalise the situation in the VSIPs. The Vietnamese government has also given its assurance that it will provide compensation and due assistance to the affected foreign companies, including Singaporean firms. We will continue to work with the Vietnamese government to ensure that the interests of Singaporean companies and investors in Vietnam are protected.
TRANSCRIPT OF MINISTER IN PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE, SECOND MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AND SECOND MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES GRACE FU’S REPLY TO SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION, 9 JULY 2014
Speaker: Ms Irene Ng.
Ms Irene Ng: Can I ask the Minister – from my understanding the unrest in Vietnam was directed against China as an anti-China protest. Why was the Singapore flag burnt in this instance because it had nothing to do with Singapore?
Second Minister: Thank you for the clarification. We have no reason to believe that there are any systemic causes for the burning of the Singapore flag. Singapore and Vietnam have enjoyed good relations between the government and the people. So, I have no reason to believe that the incident was a systemic reflection of any unhappiness on Singapore or Singapore companies.
. . . . .